Indiana hopes to launch sports gambling by Sept. 1
The introduction, if achieved, of sports gambling would be well ahead of schedule
Indiana legislators approved a sports gambling bill earlier this year, expecting to be ready to introduce the activity sometime in mid- to late-September. That timeframe doesn’t sit well with some lawmakers and industry participants, who are trying to push the launch up by a couple of weeks. They want sports gambling to go live September 1, which would make it available just ahead of the start of the upcoming NFL season.
The idea has merit – as a business, it’s best to capture a market as quickly as possible. Given the popularity of NFL wagers, grabbing every bit of the season would help give Indiana’s sports gambling industry a considerable boost. Unfortunately, though, it’s not that easy.
Per the approved legislation, the Indiana Gaming Commission has draft regulations in place, but these are now undergoing a required public review period that runs until August 1. After that, the regulations and the public feedback have to be reviewed before the permanent regulations are released. Even then, according to law, any entity launching a sportsbook still has to have its operations tested and approved before being allowed to go live.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but a chance exists that Indiana will be able to pull it off. Only in-person wagers would be allowed at first, restricted to places such as casinos and racetracks and certain off-site betting facilities. Wagers at the sports venues themselves will most likely not be allowed, at least for now. Additionally, online wagers won’t be ready, as these require a lot more logistic development and coordination to meet state requirements. However, the activity was approved and could be rolled out within the next couple of months.